Friday, December 16, 2016

Candy Cane Bundt with Chocolate Surprise - What Could Go Wrong?

As I mentioned last week, I was kind of challenged to do the Bundt Cake that follows. Well... sort of. It was suggested that I try out the "Bigfoot Bundt Cake" found on the Nerdist website, which is where this photo comes from:

I thought it looked interesting, but had an issue with it: I have a ton of cookie cutters and didn't want to go out and buy a Bigfoot cutter just for this.

So I decided to accept the spirit of the challenge, if not the exactitude of it.

About the same time, I realized that a peppermint chocolate cake sounded really good. So I did a little research, and came up with this one on a blog site called "Crunchy Creamy Sweet" - where I found this photo:

So I thought "Why not combine the two?" and thus this came into being.

Because I worked directly from the recipe on Crunchy Creamy Sweet, I'm not going to reprint the full recipe here. But let's look at the steps that I took:

We start with a pre-made cake. I used a 9x13 pan, but I think I should have used a half-sheet, instead (you'll see why, below).

The ingredients for the Peppermint Bundt.

Checking to see whether the cookie cutters I wanted to use would fit within the confines of the Bundt pan.

Can you see why I probably should have made this in a sheet pan? The cake was so thick that cutting out shapes was pretty difficult. Many of the star points broke off along the way.

Here are the filler shapes - though most of them didn't look like much, honestly. I have no idea how the Bigfoot turned out as well as it did on the Nerdist site. (Don't worry - the rest didn't go to waste. We had a container of frosting in the pantry, and had "bowls of cake.")

It seemed odd to mix the oil and sugar - though you frequently cream butter and sugar, so I guess it shouldn't have been so strange.

Almost everything is in there, now.

Tinting half the cake batter to get the candy cane effect.

Okay. Here's where it gets tricky. You're supposed to put in half the white batter, then the red batter, then the white again, to get the swirls. But I also wanted to add in the chocolate shapes.

Chocolate shapes going in. They need to be in far enough to "stand up." But you also need them to not touch the edges of the pan so that they don't show before the cake is cut.

Okay. Here's how it looked with the white, red, white batter layers. Somewhere around here I started to think this was not going to turn out like the Nerdist insinuated. 

Not gonna lie: I don't understand the physics behind the chocolate cake "floating up" as the Bundt cake baked. Maybe my box chocolate cake was too light for the Bundt, and they need to be more similar in density? (Did Archimedes do studies on such things?)

This is how it looked in the pan when it came out of the oven.

Honestly, though, it looked pretty darned good from the top when I flipped it out.

Except for the one spot where the chocolate got too close to the outer edge, so the cake broke away. (This is part of why I'm really not sure how that Bigfoot cake worked - at least without the benefit of Photoshop.)

With no white chocolate or candy canes in the house, a dusting of powdered sugar was as festive as I could manage.

I cut into the part where that chunk was falling off, just to see how it turned out. You can see that the star kind of didn't make it.

On the other hand, the cake had a great texture, and next to a nice glass of milk was really festive - and would probably be great for Santa...

Do I think that this was a fail? No. I just think it wasn't as easy as the recipes might have made me expect. But, let's face it: Finding any kind of craft online and trying to get a good result on the first try is pretty much always a crap shoot. I think that with a better combination of cakes - and possibly smaller cookie cutter shapes - this might have turned out. I also think that the cutouts probably ought to be completely covered by the Bundt batter before baking. But since I've only done it once, I don't know if that would guarantee a good result.

On the other hand, though, it was a really tasty Peppermint Bundt, and Christopher's coworkers enjoyed it. It may or may not be attempted again in future - without the chocolate shapes inside.

Do you have a recipe you'd like to see made - without having to do it yourself - let me know and I'll try it out!

1 comment:

Robin said...

Looks great - even though you weren't sure about the chocolate cake.
Did you see the cherry chocolate cheese bunds cake on Patty's Wilsey's FB feed today? Looked interesting.
Merry Christmas baking!